by Mike Ehret
Editor – ACFW Journal Magazine
I admit that was my response when first approached by ACFW President Margaret Daley about being involved with what became the ACFW Journal. In the digital age, it seemed like a backward step.
But that’s the beauty of vision.
What may seem illusory to others, or even Ludditian, becomes concrete and almost inevitable when fueled by people with vision and passion.
A magazine for ACFW members is not a new idea. It’s been around for several years, probably as long as I’ve been involved with member publications. But the time was never right before.
Now it is. And now you have the first edition in your hands and can see for yourself the wisdom in creating this tool. Even with the plethora of computers and electronic devices available to us for reading, there is something special about holding a printed piece.
The only power it needs is the power of your mind-and your imagination.
Because the vision is now yours as well. The ACFW Journal is, at its heart, a community asset. It benefits us all. Writers, editors, agents, publishers, each segment of this industry. We all have a stake in its mission and its success.
- You sitting with the magazine and learning more about the craft of writing each time you open it.
- Articles being talked about online and in small gatherings of writers (like our zone chapters or informal coffee shop meet-ups).
- Writers, who are also avid readers, finding new books, new authors they’ve yet to try, and buying a book they saw advertised or talked about in an article.
But even more than that, the ACFW Journal exists to support you with advice and guidance through some of the career and industry-related mazes you face in honoring your God-given call to write for Him.
And we offer you an outlet as a writer-to share the knowledge you’ve gained, the struggles you’re having (and how you’re overcoming them), and your successes.
You can write for the ACFW Journal-yes, you! It’s your member magazine. It’s your community asset.
It’s your vision now. Grab it. Read it. Participate.
Special thanks to the great team that produces the ACFW Journal: Ken Raney, graphic designer; Cheryl Wyatt, advertising director; Vicki Talley McCollum, associate editor; Susan Miller, proofreader.
And thanks to Cara Putman, ACFW PR Officer, who offers direct oversight of this project, and Margaret Daley, ACFW President, and the rest of the Board and Advisory Board members, for invaluable support and encouragement.
Michael Ehret loves to play with words and as editor for the ACFW Journal, he is enjoying a new playground. Anyone who has watched children play knows that’s how humans learn. By planning each issue of the magazine and editing its articles, Michael is constantly learning. He also plays with words as the editor-in-chief of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and as a contributor to the blogsite, NovelRocket.com. He has edited several nonfiction books, played with words as a corporate communicator, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.
Mike, I was thrilled to receive the ACFW Journal in my mailbox. I’ve been savoring it, reading it slowly, enjoying the quality product, and yes the feel of the printed page in my hands. Thanks for become its editor. Have fun!
Mike, my first thought was the same as yours. A print edition? In the 21st century? Why?
As much as I relate to the desire of bookish people to hold a printed product, I still feel it is, as you say, a step backward.
I am a bookish person, and my shelves are already filled to overflowing. Storing issues of this magazine would require removing books from my shelves to make room. More likely, I will — forgive me, the squeamish should avert their eyes — tear the magazine into sheets and scan the pages.
I will keep the Journal. The content is great. But I won’t keep it in analog form.
So glad you’re enjoying the ACFW Journal, slowly, piece by piece. Also glad for those who devoured the whole thing in one sitting. That is part of the appeal of the physical magazine. You can read it in your time, in your way.
I think your solution is a brilliant one, too! And I am not at all squeamish about you tearing up the magazine! What thrills me is that you’ll find something you like enough to tear it out, scan it, and keep it.
Part of the reason for the mag is that our web research showed that when the ezine was published, hits for it would be high for the first 1-2, maybe 3, days and then would fade to next to nothing.
We wanted something more solid. Something our members would be able to pick up and read at their leisure. A magazine sitting on a coffee table or, forgive me, in a rack next to the toilet, is always there for you. An ezine is too, but you have to remember to go to it. The ezine doesn’t remind you that you haven’t yet had time to read that great story on the relationship between ACFW and CBD.
Mike, you and your team did an excellent job. I can’t say that enough.
Kudos to Mike and all involved. I received my copy last week and thumbed through it then. Now will go back and savor it a piece or chunk at a time like great dark chocolate. Only it is even better than chocolate because I can enjoy it again whenever I want without any calories!
I waited anxiously for my copy as more and more folks on the ACFW main loop reported receiving theirs. I now have it in my hands and am so impressed! It is awesome.
I’ve flipped through it and skimmed a few articles but had to set it aside to finish gathering everything I need for my tax (Ugh!) appointment in a few days. Once that nasty task is finished, I’ll be able to “taste” the Journal at my leisure?just as Rose described?as if savoring the best dark chocolate ever.
Great job, ACFW!
Oops . . . pardon those question marks! They’re supposed to be em dashes. Weird.
Rose and Peg,
Wow … likened to dark chocolate! That may be the highest praise we’ve received yet.
I’ll be pleased if we can provide respite after your tax appt Peg. 🙂
I received mine copy and LOVE it!! Well done everyone!
I was soooo happy to receive The ACFW Journal in my mailbox (the real one, on the street by the sidewalk). 🙂
I devoured it. There is definitely something special about holding the magazine in your hands. I thought is was beautifully done and very informative.
Thank you so much, Mike, and all who worked so hard on it!
I am thrilled to have a magazine to browse through. I like to mark the articles and go back and read them again. You’ve presented an excellent resource for us, and I thank you! Can’t wait ’til the next one.
Michael, I am so very glad you created the Journal in printed form! If it was only available in digital format, I doubt I would read it…at least I wouldn’t read it cover-to-cover as I just have. For me, anything connected to the computer is too much like work. I work enough hours already. I love to take a paper magazine to my porch with a cup of coffee and read for pure pleasure. Same with books. I read only printed books for enjoyment. Just for the record, I do own a Nook, but I’ve yet to download anything. Call me old-fashioned, but give me time away from my laptop. Thanks for the outstanding effort you put into the premier isse.
Terri, Heidi, Penny, and Mary,
Thanks for your comments and support. We, the entire ACFW Journal team, are thrilled you’re finding so much to like in the magazine. We’re already having fun with the next one … wait until you see the cover!
Thanks to you and all involved in publishing the print version of the ACFW Journal. So well done.
As an author, I’m so happy my publisher got strongly behind the whole Ebook thing. Especially now that the price has come down to where people are buying them like crazy. With each royalty statement I see a bigger and bigger slice coming from the Ebook side.
But I still love print books best. AND print magazines. For all the reasons you and others mentioned. I especially love ones done as well as this one.
Love the Journal! When I first joined years ago I wished ACFW had a print publication. But as you mentioned, it’s more special to get it now when most of my other groups have gone to digital only. Great job!
Dan and Robin,
Glad to be there for you. And Dan, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the place ebooks have, and will have, in the publishing industry.
I just sat down with my ACFW magazine. It’s beautiful! Very well done.